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setting up a secondhand DIY tele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by CustomRanch, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. CustomRanch

    CustomRanch NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey there,

    I picked up a DIY telecaster off Reverb and I love it. It's my first Telecaster, but it won't be my last--it's cool to have such a variety of tones available and the thing feels great to play.

    When I got it, the intonation was perfect up and down the neck. Then I replaced the strings. I guess it came with 9s, because the new 10s have a touch more tension. And now the intonation is... different. It's great up through the 12th fret, but higher than that, everything goes increasingly sharp.

    What's the cause? How can I get it back? (I haven't tinkered with my guitars much, but I have some tools and mechanical skills from bicycles and computers.)

    I have this GFS bridge and GFS locking tuners. Thanks!
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Welcome aboard!

     
  3. CustomRanch

    CustomRanch NEW MEMBER!

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    That's a big help, thanks.

    I wondered if I should adjust the truss rod, too, due to the difference in string tension. Is it possible that it made a difference? It looks straight to my eye, but I don't know the best way to check.
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of my cardinal rules is to measure absolutely everything (and write it all down) before you touch anything. Different setup parameters interact, make sure you understand the order in which to adjust things. This might help

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/basic-setup.952636/

    The amount of compensation needed is a function of the core diameter of the string - as the core gets larger the fretted string goes sharper.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That is called setting the neck "relief". Watch the video and it will give you a good overview.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/guitar-setup-part-1-adjusting-the-truss-rod-2/

    There is a wealth of information online. But basically, when you do string gauge changes, you need to tweak the setup of the guitar. It needs to be done in a particular order, as one adjustment effects another.
     
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Order is:
    -Fret 3rd fret and measure gap at the first fret or adjust nut slots
    -Fret 1st and last (or 15, 17, 19 depending on which 'spec' you want to follow) and measure 12th fret action and adjust truss rod
    -Adjust saddle height to get target action at 12th fret (open strings)
    -Tune guitar, check intonation *in playing position*, adjust, tune, check, adjust, tune, ... until intonation is ok
    -Go back to the top and recheck everything. Loop through steps if something is out.
    -Recheck everything in two days for final adjustments/verification.

    You can watch a dozen youtube videos "daves world of fun stuff" for the practical and sometimes grumpy routine. Frudua is another good channel for setups.

    Now are your nut slots wide enough to fit 10s?

    I'll advise ... no matter what you read on forums, do not swap the nut 'for tone!' or you'll get into another big potential trouble routine. A new exotic nut is cheap, the forums applaud the mod to no end, and many a guitarist will pour more money into that guitar chasing tuning issues "but it can't be the nut! I just upgraded the nut!".

    .
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Remember a couple of interactions. Changing relief will change action. Changing nut action will change 12th fret action. Changing action will change intonation. Changing string gauges might change relief, will change intonation. Think about the order of making these changes....
     
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